There are a number of things I love about blogging. I am able to talk with new friends (without limits on distance or time), I can read daily interesting tips and tidbits on a number of fun blogs, and I learn about things outside of my worldview, which is productive and fun (much better than my old habit of reading celebrity gossip). The one thing about blogging, though, that has helped me most (in my day-to-day living) is the daily logging of recipes and ideas. Blogging my recipes, my weekly meal plans, and my meal ideas acts as a built-in organizer for my (sometimes) scattered self. I used to make up recipes and then forget how to re-create them. I used to discover entrees or side dish recipes online, but then soon forget where I found the recipe. I am not a naturally organized person, and I have a tendency to wander from project to project. Having this blog, then, helps me to record a plan and stick to it. Blogging also helped me try new recipes that I wouldn’t have thought to try and then record my favorites.
In fact, I found a new favorite easy fish recipe that I wanted to recommend: Easy Sole Meuniere by Ina Garten on the Food Network. I first made this dish during my first week of meal planning, and my honey and I both liked it so much that we’ve now made it two weeks in a row! All you need is butter, flour, lemon, and white fish for this simple, yet delicious dinner. Sole a la Meuniere–literally, “Sole of the Miller’s wife”–is white fish dredged in flour and fried in a brown butter-lemon sauce. (A “Miller” operates a mill and processes grains to make flour.) The name of the dish itself hints at its rustic, French roots (Normandy, to be exact).
Julia Child made this dish infamous by recording it in her book, My Life In France, as her first French meal:
“It was “perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley… I closed my eyes and inhaled the rising perfume. Then I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth… The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter… It was a morsel of perfection… It was the most exciting meal of my life.”
~Julia Child, My Life in France
I love this recipe because it is simple, elegant, healthy, and inexpensive. Yes, you’re frying fish in butter, but I use half butter/half olive oil to lighten this recipe, and white fish itself is low in fat. I’ve also used any white fish (not just sole) in this recipe–such as Tilapia–and it tastes wonderful. I especially like to watch for sales on white fish– I buy the cheapest I can find and make this recipe! Typically, this dish asks for parsley, but I think the simple lemon-brown butter sauce alone serves well as a dish. (Which means all you would need is fish, butter, lemon, and flour! Amazing!) You could also substitute dried parsley or other dried/fresh herbs (we tried Basil!) for a tasty twist on the dish. You should try this recipe! It will be a hit! Enjoy!
Ina Garten’s Easy Sole Meuniere (taken straight from her recipe with only a few changes)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 fresh sole fillets, 3 to 4 ounces each (or any other white fish)
- 2 tablespoons butter (less butter!)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (I’m substituting some of the butter!)
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (Garten requires this, I vote optional!)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (Garten requires this, I vote optional!)
Combine the flour, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large shallow plate. Pat the sole fillets dry with paper towels and sprinkle one side with salt.
Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium heat until it starts to brown.Dredge 2 sole fillets in the seasoned flour on both sides and place them in the hot butter. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes. Turn carefully with a metal spatula and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. While the second side cooks, add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to the pan. Carefully put the fish filets on the ovenproof plates and pour the sauce over them. Keep the cooked fillets warm in the oven while you repeat the process with the remaining 2 fillets. When they’re done, add the cooked fillets to the plates in the oven. Sprinkle with the parsley, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.